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Welsh farmers fear being ‘sold down the river’ over UK Government deal with New Zealand

26 Aug 2021 2 minutes Read
Cows in New Zealand. Picture by Sarah Macmillan (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Opportunities for Welsh farmers from a new post-Brexit trade deal with New Zealand would be “extremely limited” and the industry should not be “sold down the river” by the UK Government, according to a Welsh farming union.

The UK and New Zealand free trade deal is said to be worth over £2.3 billion in 2020, with the figure likely to increase as a result of a wide-ranging trade deal.

But FUW Vice President Dai Miles said that Welsh farmers could suffer if the UK is “exposed to potentially very cheap imports with no way of controlling their volume or price”.

“Reciprocal trade will be restricted to very niche and specialist goods, and with a population on the other side of the world that’s lower than that of Scotland and just 7% of the UK population, opportunities in New Zealand are extremely limited.”

‘Viability’

Whilst the exact details of the free trade agreement with New Zealand have not yet been published by the UK Government, Dai Miles added that they should not concerns by the industry in regard to the free trade agreement with Australia.

“Members of Parliament need to ensure that when it comes to such trade deals, the long term interests of the UK are protected,” he said.

“If the Australia trade deal is anything to go by, then our industry has every right to be concerned about a viable future. Comments made about consumers benefiting from cheap food products are nothing but smoke and mirrors.

“The value of developing existing and seeking new markets for all UK products, including our food, is of course recognised, but this must not be done at the cost of the long term viability of Wales’ food and farming industries, the environment and animal health and welfare standards.

“Our dairy industry must not be sold down the river alongside our quality red meat industry.”

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Quornby
Quornby
29 days ago

Hands up all Brexit voting farmers.

hdavies15
hdavies15
29 days ago
Reply to  Quornby

It doesn’t just boil down to how many farmers voted Brexit any more than how many telecoms workers or car factory workers voted Brexit. Far too simplistic. What we are witnessing is a central government happy to chuck anyone under the proverbial tractor just to secure a high profile deal regardless of the merits or flaws of such a deal. Cheap food may be an objective as far as feeding a whole host of people who are content to survive on bad diets, but in a country, both Wales and UK, where the eating habits are known to contribute to… Read more »

Sue salway
Sue salway
28 days ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Government need to demand only Welsh produce used in schools and hospitals

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